Michigan Strategic Fund continues support of TechTown, Automation Alley and state SmartZones

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved funding extensions totaling more than $1.7 million for five grants across the state supporting entrepreneurial collaboration resources, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced. The grant extensions, supporting integral members of Michigan鈥檚 entrepreneurial ecosystem, represent the MEDC鈥檚 continued commitment to building entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth across the entire state.

The approved programs receiving additional funding include:

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽TechTown鈥檚 Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX) Business Incubator ($250,000)
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Automation Alley鈥檚 Business Incubator (7Cs) ($500,000)
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Lawrence Technological University鈥檚 Gatekeeper Business Incubator ($100,000)
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽2015 Business Incubator-Gatekeeper ($574,338)
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽2016 Business Incubator-Gatekeeper ($299,961)

鈥淐ollaboration resources such as those available through Automation Alley, TechTown and SmartZones across Michigan are essential in providing our state鈥檚 entrepreneurs the necessary support needed to spark innovation and spur the business economy,鈥 said Fred Molnar, vice president of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, MEDC,聽the state鈥檚 chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF. 鈥淭he continued funding of these programs demonstrates their impact in not only building and growing startups in Michigan, but in attracting out-of-state talent.鈥澛

TechTown,聽Detroit鈥檚 entrepreneurship hub working with businesses at all stages, helps startup, emerging and established companies develop, launch and grow. TechTown鈥檚 DTX program supports a startup accelerator for students, an entrepreneur-in-residence placement program and integrated ecosystem services. Since its inception, DTX has helped 33 new companies form, assisted 42 companies in expanding, created 165 new jobs, helped companies raise over $11.4 million in follow-on-funding and $88.7 million in new sales, and served 397 technology based companies.

Automation Alley聽is Michigan鈥檚 leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association. Its 7Cs program is aimed at accelerating the growth of small businesses and startups across Michigan, with a specific emphasis on advanced manufacturing startups.聽Since the beginning of the 7Cs program grant, Automation Alley has supported the formation of 14 new companies, created 51 new jobs, and assisted companies in raising over $14.7 million in follow-on-funding.聽聽

The additional approved funding extensions include the Gatekeeper Business Incubator grant for Lawrence Technological University and the 2015 and 2016 Business Incubator Gatekeeper grants for the following SmartZones:

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Ann Arbor SPARK East, Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Central Michigan University Research Corporation, Mt. Pleasant SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), Lansing Regional SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Macomb-Oakland University Incubator, Sterling Heights SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Muskegon Innovation Hub, Muskegon SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Midland Tomorrow Innovation Center, Midland SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMU Med), Kalamazoo SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Innovate Marquette Enterprise Corporation (IMQT), Marquette SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Lakeshore Advantage, Holland SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Lenawee Now, Adrian and Tecumseh SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation (MTEC), Houghton and Hancock SmartZone
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽SSMart-Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste Marie SmartZone

Michigan SmartZones聽provide distinct geographical locations where technology-based firms, entrepreneurs and researchers receive access to business accelerator services, including business development mentoring, incubator and wet lab space, technology assessments, market analysis, product development and entrepreneurial training. The gatekeeper position is responsible for assisting companies in navigating the entrepreneurial ecosystem and accessing the various services and programs provided by SmartZones. Under the grants they鈥檝e previously received, these SmartZones have helped 231 companies form, served 1,695 companies, created 730 jobs, retained 4,223 jobs, and assisted companies in raising over $286 million with an additional $125 million in sales.

鈥淲ith its abundant resources and commitment to innovation, Michigan remains a fertile environment for entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and to start and grow a business,鈥 said Marilyn Clark, CEO at MTEC SmartZone. 鈥淭oday鈥檚 approval of additional funding reinforces that commitment, while acknowledging the tremendous impact entrepreneurs have on the state鈥檚 economic growth.鈥

MEDC鈥檚 Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech start-up companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit聽michiganbusiness.org.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit聽MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit聽michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan鈥檚 growing companies should check聽mitalent.org, where more than 98,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.